Where it all began

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From left: Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Margaret Mitchell, producer David O. Selznick, and Olivia de Havilland.

I’m in Atlanta as I write this, sitting inside a hotel room at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, the very place were the Gone With the Wind premiere party was held in December 1939, and where all the stars of the film stayed the night of that momentous occasion.

I had the distinct pleasure last night of speaking at the Margaret Mitchell House about writing STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD and why I chose the movie set of Gone With the Wind for its backdrop.

When first I learned I was going to be speaking about this book here in Atlanta, I wanted to do cartwheels. I was that excited. A couple seconds later, though, I fully realized that I’d be speaking to a group of people who are more tied in to this film and the book than I could ever hope to be, and at a far more intimate level. That’s when I needed, if you’ll pardon my reference to Aunt Pittypat, my smelling salts.  What right does a San Diegan have to speak about Gone With the Wind to an Atlantan crowd, seated in the very place where Margaret Mitchell wrote it.

But you know, everyone who loves Gone With the Wind, and there are millions of us, is connected in a small way to the mother tree, if you will. What I brought to the gracious attendees who came to hear me speak last night was my own personal bit of ponderings and musings about this story, from way out on my little limb. It was a lovely evening!

Here are a few photos from the inside of the Margaret Mitchell House (If you get to Atlanta, it’s a must-see). The tour offers so many insights into how Peggy Marsh’s life experiences influenced her the story of Gone With the Wind.

Have a lovely weekend!

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The front porch of the house looks onto Peachtree Street. Margaret was born in 1900 a few blocks away, just off Peachtree St, and died in 1949, a few blocks the other direction, also right off Peachtree Street. She was hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street.

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The furniture inside the apartment are period pieces that are close copies of what John and Peggy Marsh had. So you can actually sit in this blue chair if you wanted to…

The Margaret Mitchell House used to be an apartment building for ten renters. Peggy Marsh (aka Margaret Mitchell) and her husband John moved in to apt 1 on their wedding day on July 4, 1925.

The Margaret Mitchell House used to be an apartment building for ten renters. Peggy Marsh (aka Margaret Mitchell) and her husband John moved in to apt 1 on their wedding day on July 4, 1925.

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Before Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind, she was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal. Here she is with the heartthrob of the day, Rudolph Valentino.

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And this is me, sitting in the exact spot where Margaret Mitchell created such memorable characters as Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler, Ashely Wilkes, and Melanie Hamilton.

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Author: Susan

This post has 3 Comments

  1. Sarah on February 1, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Wonderful pictures, Susan. I’m a huge lover of “Gone with the Wind” and grew up in the Atlanta area yet never checked out Mitchell’s house. Shame on me! On that note, I’m REALLY looking forward to your next book. What a wonderful concept. Your “Shape of Mercy” still stands in my mind as being an all time favorite.

  2. Susan on February 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks, Sarah!. The Shape of Mercy is still, almost a decade after I wrote it, one of my favorites, too…

  3. Susan on February 16, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks, Sarah!. The Shape of Mercy is still, almost a decade after I wrote it, one of my favorites, too…

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